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Saturday, March 17, 2018
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The Chamber represents a variety of businesses, organizations and individuals that work together to further economic growth in the area.

The Chamber works to maintain a healthy, livable community through positive business leadership, participation, collaboration and accountability.
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     Marketing takes time, money, and lots of preparation. One of the best ways to prepare yourself  is to develop a solid marketing plan. A strong marketing plan will ensure you’re not only sticking to your schedule, but that you’re spending your marketing funds wisely and appropriately.
     A marketing plan includes everything from understanding your target market and your competitive position in that market, to how you intend to reach that market (your tactics) and differentiate yourself from your competition in order to make a sale.
        Your small business marketing budget should be a component of your marketing plan. Essentially, it will outline the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goals within a certain timeframe.

     If you don't have the funds to hire a marketing firm or even staff a position in-house, there are resources available to guide you through the process of writing a marketing plan and developing a market budget.

     Once you have developed your marketing budget, it doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. There may be times when you need to throw in another unplanned marketing tactic -- such as hosting an event or creating a newspaper ad -- to help you reach your market more effectively.
       Ultimately, it’s more important to determine whether sticking to your budget is helping you achieve your marketing goals and bringing you a return on investment (ROI) than to adhere to a rigid and fixed budget.
       Granted, some tactics are hard to measure -- such as the efficacy of print collateral, but you need to consider the impact of not having these branding staples in your market tool kit before you reign in your graphic design and print funds.

      Marketing plans should be maintained on an annual basis, at a minimum. But if you launch a new product or service, take time to revisit your original plan or develop a separate campaign plan that you can attach to your main plan .
       At the end of the day, the time spent developing your marketing plan is time well spent because it defines how you connect with your customers. And that's an investment worth making




Many of us participate in spring-cleaning activities at home but when it comes to our offices/work stations, it often gets overlooked. Bryan Danville, Professional Development Specialist, offers the following advice about organizing our work space to increase productivity, focus, and overall enthusiasm for our work.

Individualize Your Workspace: One of the best strategies to increase your focus and productivity is to individualize your workspace. Decorating our workspaces/desks with items that motivate us can support us in our overall productivity. It is important to note that the items we bring into our workspace have a purpose and are not just there to clutter our offices.

Make a Clean Slate: Uncluttering our desk is critical in increasing our productivity. First find a filing system that works for you. Next get rid of nonessentials from your desk such as knick-knacks, old food containers, and receipts you forgot to submit.

Recycle & Renew: Grab your shredder if you need to, it is time to get rid of some of your paper waste! Go through your files/papers and determine what can recycled and what needs to be kept.

Limit Distractions: Distractions are everywhere in the workplace and sometimes it can be difficult to avoid all of them. Find ways to get rid of distractions on your desk especially when you have a project or task you need to focus on.

Give technology A Much Needed Reboot: The last tip for spring-cleaning your workspace/office is to give all of your technology resources a much needed reboot! When is the last time you turned off your computer or phone? This can help your programs to reset, delete cookies that have built up, and for updates to occur. Also delete any files on your desktop that may be slowing down your software on your computer from running and organize your filing system on your computer. Look at other technology devices like phones, tablets, or music playing devices and clean them out so they can run at their best capacity.

I hope that sharing this information will inspire you to tidy up your office! Happy Spring!

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